Hotter Than Two Rats in a Wool Sock

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been hotter than an ex-mayor’s crack pipe a two-dollar pistol. Days like these make me want to sit out in the sun, slather myself with cocoa butter and nurse a pitcher of margaritas. Margaritas seem to add something to the ambience when I’m in the yard blasting P-Funk, singing along while the neighbors are trying to have a barbecue.

For those of you who aren’t dehydrated and suffering from heatstroke, here are some ways to reduce power demands, brought to us by Arlington County:

At home

  • Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until the cooler evening hours.
  • Turn off non-essential electric appliances and equipment.
  • Use window blinds to block direct sunlight.
  • If you have a gas power lawn mower, make sure to mow your lawn in the evening.

In the office

  • Turn off lights wherever possible, including in corridors and unused meeting rooms, and overhead lights if practical. (In addition to the power used, lights produce heat, adding to the air conditioning burden.)
  • Actively turn off computers and monitors not in use. (The “sleep” mode is good, but the “off” mode is better!)
  • Use window blinds to block direct sunlight.
  • Turn off radios, coffee pots, and personal fans when not in use.
  • Portable space heaters should not be used for local temperature control. If your office is too cold, call the building’s Facilities Maintenance. A space heater can cause a thermostat to think the space is too warm, which would send even more cooling to the area.

On the road

  • Use mass transit or carpool.
  • On “Code Red” and “Code Orange” days, all Northern Virginia bus services — including ART (Arlington Transit) and Metrobus — provide free rides to passengers.
  • Combine several errands into one trip.

  • Don’t idle your car engine. Vehicles idling when not in use produce almost as much harmful pollution as when the vehicle is traveling. And in this hot humid weather, vehicle pollution lingers longer.
  • Fill up your gas tank after sunset.
  • Try not to spill gasoline when filling up, and don’t top off your gas tank.
  • Never leave anyone — children, adults or pets — in a parked car.

I’m making my funk the P-Funk. What are you doing to reduce power consumption during these horridly hot and humid days?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for RealHomebrew.com and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

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